Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life on the Lady Washington & an New Officer's Promotional Dinner

Ethan continues to enjoy life of the Lady Washington.

He loves taking part in the weekly battles between the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftan. They use real gun powder, but they only shoot air. They keep score by noting the tones of the hits.
Sometimes Ethan gets to drive the boat.
He also helps with the ropes and anchoring the boat to port.
When he has a day off, he and some of the other sailors go out to make the best of it.
Sometimes the work is rather nasty, like the time they had to deal with black water; I think this means that the bathroom was broken in some way. Yuck!
The crew recently put on a special event from the newly promoted officers. Ethan loved it. He was given a special hand-written invitation to a dinner where he was to dress up and then a few of them had to stay away from the galley for a while. Once the party started, the new officers were brought in and served a several course meal.
The crew also put on a bunch of fun skits.
I am thankful that Ethan is able to have such adventures.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Little Snakies in the Grass

Snakes usually give me the hebe jebees, but this little one won my heart over. I don't know why. I think that snakes in your garden is both good for the garden, and a sign of garden health, but I usually avoid them.
Ellie found this little one in the grass as she was mowing her grandfather's lawn. She even found a second one. Ellie keeps her eyes out of them as she works in the yard. They usually head out on their own. Kohlton thinks that this one, and the other, are only about a week old. The snake was only a few inches long. You'll notice how small he/she was if you compare the size of his/her head to Ellie's fingernail. She picked it up to move it out of the way. His heart was beating very quickly, of course. I loved the was he curled himself up whether on Ellie's hand or on the porch. Ellie said that it felt like he did not weigh at all.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Art Outside Event at Meininger's Art Supply in Denver

I loved going to this event last year, so I was excited to go to Art Outside at Meininger's again this year.
I was happy to meet Paul who is part of Urban Sketchers Denver. They get together once a month to sketch on location and then share what they have created. I hope that I might be able to join them. Last night I was even reading blogs and book reviews about urban sketching. It is funny how things like that work out.
Paul sketches something every day. I try to do the same, but I am not as regular at finding time to draw as that. His sketches are works of art.
I had extra fun at the Golden spray paint and Montana Acrylic Markers stations where I made a few small pieces of art.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Son, the Handsome Sailor, Finally Finished with the 2012 Photo Album and A Way to Bring Joy to a Young Boy

Doesn't my boy look handsome sailing the boat? I love the new haircut.

Here's our 2012 photo album. This one was hard for me. The kids are really not kids anymore and our lives have gone in new directions when compared to what we were doing in 2012. Now, I need to figure out how to catch up to the current year. I think this year will not have as many pages.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly photo books are the new way to preserve your memories. Create your own today.

I sifting gears from what I have been doing for 21 years is hard. Some of my friends are happy to have their time back; some have even cheered. Some feel lost and have to figure out who they are now. I am happy to say that I find that I am still interested in the things that I used to do before the kids were born. I miss the way that I used to spend time with them, supporting them, celebrating them. Now I am learning to do it in a new way. I am so proud of who they are and who they are becoming. Another mother is having a hard struggle with her young son who has cancer. The boy's name is Danny and he turns 5 on July 25th. What brings him joy is to receive cards with his name on them. The folks at Shutterfly have generously posted the following in an effort to brighten his day: We heard this incredible story about a 5-year-old boy battling cancer who wants cards for his birthday on July 25. Please help our brand, Treat, make his wish come true by making a *free card just for Danny. Use code CARD4DANNY and mail cards to Danny Nickerson, PO Box 212, Foxboro, MA 02035. Create your card for Danny now: http://bit.ly/1ln1qg3. Read Danny’s story here: http://abcn.ws/1nuQJxI.

*Due to technical limitation, customers will be charged for tax and the price of the stamp.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Crayon Batik at Make It in Golden! + a Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe

For Christmas Larr gave me a gift card for Make It in Golden! It is a fiber arts studio. The school year was so busy that I did not have time to fit in a class, until this summer. Then, one afternoon when I was at the administration building looking at the student create art that decorates the hallways I came across some beautiful crayon batiks. I knew right then that I HAD TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THEM, too. And wouldn't you know that Make It in Golden! had classes in that. So of course, I had to sign up for that one. They had a class on July 3rd and I had a grand time. It turned out that the other two people who were going to be part of the class did not show up so it was just the instructor, Tamera and I. I told her that she did not have to run the class just for me, that I thought that was unreasonable, but she said that she had something she wanted to try and so she was up for showing me how to make them. My did we have fun!It was much easier than I expected.

You Need:

4 pieces of white fabric, all cut the same size
Crayons (Crayola works best)
1 glue gun (For this project, I think the small one is best. Using it for this project will not change how it functions at other times as a regular glue gun. You only use the tip to melt the crayon.)
1 container that you can fit your fabric
1 foam brush (a small one, about 1 1/2" or 2" works well.)
Dye-na-flow in the background color you want, such as black. (India ink works, too.)
4+ pieces of paper that are larger than the image fabric
1 iron
1 ironing board

1. You begin with 4 pieces of white fabric that are the same size. Be sure to put something on your table to protect it.

2. Decide on your design and gather the crayons that you need for that design. Remove the papers wrappers from the crayons.

3. Heat up a glue gun. I worked with small and large one, and found that the smaller one was easier to work with.

4. Place two pieces of the fabric, one on top of the other, on the table. Feel free to draw your design on the fabric, if you like.

5. Now you create your design by using the tip of the glue gun to melt the crayon. You can make your designs with drips, or by making lines. Making lines takes a bit of practice.
This is how our pieces began. While I like how these look, I liked the end product even better.
This is what the back of the second piece of fabric looks like.

6. Now you crumple your piece over a trash can. The goal here is to put cracks in the crayon without removing it all.

7. Place both of the pieces of fabric in some sort of container and paint the fabric with the background color. Black is traditional, but you can use any color you like. We used Dye-na-flow. When I did traditional batiks, I used black India ink. Apply the color with a cheap brush. The foam brush worked very well. Make sure that it is well saturated.

8. Now you are going to remove the extra crayon wax. Place several pieces of paper (newsprint will work. We used the cheap paper that is used for moving or when you buy something breakable.) Also place one of the pieces of fabric that is the same size as the others. Place the two pieces with the background color on top of that. Then put the last piece of white fabric on top of it all. It is a sandwich of sorts:

- white fabric
- fabric with the crayon melted on it
- fabric with some crayon melted on it
- white fabric
- 2+ pieces of paper

9. Heat up your iron and get ready to melt the wax. Place the iron in one spot on the fabric pile and hold it in place for a few seconds. Do not move the iron around or it may smear the design. You will know that you are successful at melting the wax by the way that it will begin to show up on the other piece of fabric. Move the iron to a new place and repeat until the entire thing is melted.

10. Once this is done, you peel the pieces of fabric apart. You will find that you have variations of your design on the paper you used to protect iron and surface, as well as all of the pieces of cloth.

When Tamera does this with kids, she simply turns the edges under and stitches them. For her own designs that she likes well enough she frames them with a frame that has two pieces of glass. I took my poppy and flag images home and washed them because I wanted to send one of the flags to Ethan, but I found that while the cloth was softer, the design was less brilliant. There was enough of a difference that I made a new set of flags.
This was one piece that was in the studio that I was inspired by.

These pieces were in the studio, too. While they are not crayon batiks, they are inspiring, too.

Turkey Tetrazzini

16 oz egg noodles or pasta of choice (I used spaghetti noodles. If you are going to use long noodles, such as these, be sure to break them into smaller lengths before boiling.)
(12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 4-5 cups)This is traditional, but I omit them.)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup cream
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry (or vermouth/dry white wine)
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey/chicken
3 TBL. Basil, dry minced
3 TBL. Parsley, dried
1/2 tea. Garlic, minced (I used granulated garlic.)
1 cup peas
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese (I used mozzerella as I had not Swiss Cheese.)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Ground nutmeg (optional)

4 TBL. Butter or olive oil
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (I use Panko)
1/2 - 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 tea, Garlic, granulated
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

To make the casserole:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Start heating 2 to 3 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water.(Cook the mushrooms in 3 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat, stirring, until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-10 minutes.) Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Put the pasta into the boiling water. Stir to prevent the noodles of sticking to each other. Cook until al dente.

Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, cream, broth, the sherry, basil, parsley and garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes.

When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl combine the pasta, the sauce, (the mushrooms,) the turkey, and the peas. Stir in 1 cup of the Parmesan and the 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese. ( Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if using, again to taste. Transfer the mixture to a greased 9" x 13" casserole pan that has been buttered or greased.

To make the topping:
Melt the butter/ olive oil in a skillet. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, garlic, parsley and the bread crumbs.Stir to combine, making sure that the butter/oil has been absorbed. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits.

Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.